Re: puzzle of the negrito: isolated archaic populations

Gerold Firl (
6 Dec 1996 22:14:37 GMT

In article <>, (John A. Halloran) writes:

|> Here is what a genetic expert has to say about the Negritos, "The
|> disappearance of the original languages is not surprising or
|> unprecedented; the languages of the African Pygmies have also become
|> extinct, but the African tropical forest may have permitted greater
|> genetic conservation of its inhabitants. Almost all reputed survivors of this
|> hypothetical Australoid population are on islands that were mostly connected
|> with the mainland in earlier times.

Why are the negrito referred to as "australoid"? There seems to be solid
grounds for viewing them as populations of longstanding separation.

|> It is tempting to speculate that the
|> migration from Africa to Southeast Asia and Australia happened mostly by the
|> way of the coast. Boats or rafts had to be used by the earliest Australian
|> aborigines in order to enter that continent, ... and it would not be too
|> surprising if all or most of the migration of a.m.h. to Southeast Asia and
|> Australia from Africa had taken place along the coast. Genetic traces of this
|> migration may no longer exist, or may be very difficult to find. However, as
|> has been repeatedly emphasized, Dravidian populations are not genetically
|> similar to Australian populations, as an analysis of the world data has
|> confirmed." L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi, and Alberto Piazza, The
|> History and Geography of Human Genes, abridged paperback (1994), p. 242.

I'm confused by the comparison of dravidian and australian genetics; surely
these two peoples and the negrito must be viewed as branches of the human
family tree which separated long ago? Can you explain why cavalli-sforza makes
such a comparison?

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf